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Airbnb Early Check-In: A Win-Win for Hosts and Guests?

Explore the ins and outs of Airbnb's early check-in feature, from understanding what it is to how to request it, and the implications for both hosts and guests.


By Derick Hargrave

Published on June 18, 2023

Are you planning your next trip and considering Airbnb for your accommodation? If so, you might be wondering about the possibility of an early check-in. In this article, we delve into the ins and outs of Airbnb’s early check-in feature, from understanding what it is to how to request it and the implications for both hosts and guests.

Understanding Airbnb Early Check-In

What is Airbnb Early Check-In

Early check-in on Airbnb refers to accessing your rental before the standard arrival time, typically around 3 pm. This feature can be a boon for guests who have early flights or arrive in the morning and want to drop off their bags and start exploring the city. However, it’s important to note that early check-in is not always guaranteed and largely depends on the host’s availability and willingness to accommodate your request.

Airbnb’s Policy on Early Check-In

Airbnb’s policy on early check-in is largely left to the host’s discretion. Some hosts may be flexible and allow guests to check in early if there are no back-to-back bookings, while others may strictly adhere to their listed check-in times to ensure adequate time for cleaning and preparing the space for the next guest. Communication is key in understanding and navigating these policies.

How to Request Early Check-In

Requesting an early check-in on Airbnb involves clear and respectful communication with your host. In your initial message, explain why you want to arrive early and ask if it’s possible. If the host agrees, they may ask for more information, such as your flight details or estimated arrival time. Remember, respecting the host’s decision and arriving at the agreed-upon time is important.

Why Hosts May Offer Early Check-In

Positive Reviews and Increased Bookings

Offering early check-in can lead to positive reviews and increased bookings for hosts. Guests appreciate the flexibility and convenience, which can enhance their overall experience and satisfaction. This, in turn, can lead to positive reviews, attracting more bookings for the host.

Host’s Early Check-In Policies

Each host on Airbnb can set their early check-in policies. Some may allow it without any additional charges, while others may require an extra fee. These policies are typically outlined in the listing details, so guests must review this information before booking.

Impact of Early Check-In on Hosts

Early check-in can have various impacts on hosts. It can disrupt their cleaning schedule, especially if there are guests checking out on the same day. It can also put pressure on the host to prepare the space in a shorter amount of time. However, hosts can manage these challenges effectively with proper planning and communication.

Host’s Tips for Early Check-In

For hosts, preparing for an early check-in involves efficient planning and the use of resources. This can include creating a detailed cleaning checklist, using cleaning tools efficiently, and considering professional cleaning services for quick and thorough cleaning. Technology, like smart locks, can also streamline the check-in process, allowing guests to check in at their convenience.

Guest Perspective on Early Check-In

Benefits of Early Check-In for Guests

Using luggage storage when Airbnb early check-in is not possible
Using luggage storage when Airbnb early check-in is not possible

From a guest’s perspective, early check-in offers several benefits. It provides convenience, allowing guests to drop off their luggage and settle into the accommodation earlier than the standard check-in time. This gives them more time to explore the city or rest after a long journey. It also offers flexibility in their travel plans, allowing them to adjust their itinerary accordingly.

How to Handle Early Check-In Denial

If a host is unable to accommodate an early check-in request, guests need to respond respectfully and understand the host’s reasons. In such cases, guests can consider alternative listings or adjust their plans to align with the standard check-in time. Understanding the cancellation policy of the booking is also crucial in these situations.

Alternatives if Early Check-In is Not Possible

If early check-in is not possible, guests have other options. They could store their luggage at a nearby airport or storage facility. Alternatively, they could explore the city and take advantage of Airbnb’s Experiences, which are unique activities hosted by locals.

Additional Fees for Early Check-In

Understanding Additional Fees

Some hosts may charge an additional fee for early check-in. The listing usually outlines this fee and should be paid before arrival. Guests need to check the listing details or ask the host about any additional fees associated with early check-in.

Airbnb’s Early Bird Check-In Feature

Airbnb’s Early Bird Check-In feature allows guests to check in as early as 9 am for a fee. Hosts can opt-in to this feature, which is available for guests to add on during the booking process. However, not all hosts offer this feature, so it’s always best to check with your host before making a request.

Impact of Additional Fees on Booking

Additional fees for early check-in can increase the overall cost of the stay. However, for many guests, the convenience and flexibility offered by early check-in may outweigh the additional cost. Guests need to consider their budget and the value they place on early check-in when booking.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, early check-in is a popular request among Airbnb guests, but it’s not always guaranteed. It’s important for both hosts and guests to communicate clearly about early check-in requests and to understand the potential implications. With a little planning and flexibility, early check-in can enhance the Airbnb experience for both hosts and guests.

Written by

As a content writer passionate about travel and hospitality, I have a unique perspective on short-term rentals. With years of experience creating engaging, informative content for various clients, I enjoy communicating the benefits and appeal of short-term rental properties. I've been an Airbnb host for the last three years, consistently providing my guests with a high level of hospitality.